Definition of charm in English:


Line breaks: charm
Pronunciation: /tʃɑːm


  • 1 [mass noun] The power or quality of delighting, attracting, or fascinating others: he was captivated by her youthful charm
    More example sentences
    • I'm fascinated by this character trait known as charm or charisma.
    • This London hit show took America by storm, full of charm, humour and delightful songs that make it a perfect theatrical event for the entire family.
    • But they still retain a kind of charm, which attracts camera-toting tourists round the clock.
  • 1.1 [count noun] (usually charms) An attractive or alluring characteristic or feature: the hidden charms of the city
    More example sentences
    • But Winnipeg's a great prairie city, with hidden charms.
    • It was in January 1997 that the newspaper noticed her charms and featured her in a photo shoot.
    • Judge Brett Cullum thinks this oft-reviled David Lynch feature definitely has its charms, if you know how to approach it.
  • 2A small ornament worn on a necklace or bracelet: the trinkets were charms from his wife’s bracelet
    More example sentences
    • Rearranging my charms, necklace and bracelet I make sure I look presentable to a street gang.
    • Any trinkets, charms, or ornaments expected of a 17-year-old girl to have in her room would never appear in my mine, because I simply did not own any.
    • She held up a variety of decorative necklaces and charms.
    ornament, trinket, bauble
    archaic bijou
  • 3An object, act, or saying believed to have magic power: the charm begins with ritual instructions
    More example sentences
    • Was it a prayer, a magic spell, a charm, or a prediction?
    • It is a place that is full of spells and curses, where powerful charms work their magic, and everything is witchcraft and wizardry.
    • Not since his first sale of a magic charm was he so concerned over the opinion of his work.
    spell, incantation, conjuration, rune, magic formula, magic word, abracadabra, jinx; sorcery, magic, witchcraft, wizardry; North American mojo, hex; New Zealand makutu
  • 3.1An object kept or worn to ward off evil and bring good luck: a good luck charm
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    • This charm brings me luck wherever I go for fairies enchanted it.
    • Letters, cards, all sorts of miraculous medals and good luck charms have all been winging their way there in recent years.
    • After just a fortnight at home, I'd already sold the clothes on my back for a few precious bowls of luck charms.
  • 4 [mass noun] Physics One of six flavours of quark.
    More example sentences
    • The charm quark stays effectively at rest inside the baryon because it is much more massive than the up, down and strange quarks.
    • Similar fun is had in other fields of science, as for instance by physicists who have named a class of elementary particles quarks, of which charm is one of the flavors.
    • These include the charm and top quarks, which are heavy copies of the up quark, and the strange and bottom quarks, which are heavy copies of the down quark.


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  • 2Control or achieve by or as if by magic: a gesticulating figure endeavouring to charm a cobra [with adverbial]: she will charm your warts away
    More example sentences
    • They then moved the fork whilst in the ground, which apparently charms the worms to the surface when the fork is removed.
    • He had laughed, he had charmed me, almost bewitched me.
    • Search where you will, you will not see one who can charm a snake like me.


turn on the charm

Use one’s ability to please in a calculated way so as to influence someone or to obtain something: he would have to turn on the charm to talk her round
More example sentences
  • Come on, I know all about my big brother's ability to turn on the charm when he wants to.
  • He relaxes, and he comes alive - he turns on the charm.
  • But this isn't a man who turns on the charm at the hint of a camera flash or the whirr of a journalist's Dictaphone.

work like a charm

Be completely successful or effective: the new sales approach worked like a charm
More example sentences
  • The more public approach seems to have worked like a charm.
  • His voice never raised above a moderate level, yet his approach worked like a charm.
  • But it works like a charm within the current range of tax rates.


Middle English (in the senses 'incantation or magic spell' and 'to use spells'): from Old French charme (noun), charmer (verb), from Latin carmen 'song, verse, incantation'.

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